3D prints for SOTA

I’ve not seen it, but heard of it. I may play around with OnShape, since I have some CAD and CAM experience, and see what I might come up with.

Cheers, Rob

Hi Tim,

I added a link to your design on my printables page.
Would you know what the thread of your design is? I am wondering if these poles are all identical and coming from the same (chinese) factory.

Heinz

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I had to experiment to find the right diameter and pitch. Certainly did not feel ‘standard’ metric size.

Its a 42.5mm diameter rod with a 1.35mm pitch thread. 42mm diameter also worked, but i purposely left a bit of wiggle room. That is intersected with a cylinder to get the cap.

I used freecad, excellent OSS, the CAD file is on printables.com

I just posted my Slim G mast clip to help deploy quickly and for windy days.

Designed this to stop the slim G body slapping against the mast in the wind, and for super quick deployment - just slide on the mast before the antenna tip. Hope this is useful for some.

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What other programs are out there that can be recommended, preferably for Linux? I learnt technical drawing on a drawing board about 40 years ago (CAD was just coming up then) and FreeCAD seems to be mighty, yet with a somewhat steep learning curve.
Is there anything easier around?

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

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For descriptive or parametric design, OpenSCAD is surprisingly powerful. I tend to find I can knock up a design there very quickly.

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The other free one I have used is Fusion 360, its basically the free version of Autocad (which i used 25 years ago in the days when I did ‘proper’ engineering). The principle of using sketches to make parts are the same in both fusion 360 and freecad and very powerful when you get to grips with it.

Unfortunately fusion is window and mac only.

I would personally recommend getting to grips with FreeCad, It runs on linux, mac, windows - once you get the basic concepts it can be quick…. and there are loads of youtube tutorials if you need an intro…. its easy to use when you understand it’s principles. the odd bug, but its free and OSS.

I’m able to do all sort of interesting things now, and it didn’t take too long to pick up.
Really happy to help if i can.

Onshape for me. Browser based and the basic plan I have is free. Very good software, nice and easy to use (Mech Eng here btw ~circa 1990 so drawing boards too, but have used AutoCAD 2D and occasionally Inventor or SolidWorks). I’d generally avoid the big companies now as the software is way too much for the casual user. Even stuff like TinkerCAD is handy

Can’t get my head round FreeCAD, don’t like the workflow but others love it

Thanks to @VK3ARR, @M7TSU and @G7KSE for your answers. Doing some googling brought up essentially the same answers.
It is interesting (and somewhat frightening) to see how far I have grown away from my initial training as Mech Eng - I now find that programming a 3D shape (as is done with OpenSCAD) is easier to me that doing a traditional drawing … :slight_smile:

Off to new adventures! Learning to draw stuff again!

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

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There’s no need for 0.7 & 0.3mm pencils now Martin :slight_smile:

I found my Pentel 0.7mm in an old box of papers. I’m not sure if it dates back to my A-levels and university or if I bought another one maybe in the 90s having lost the other one. Don’t tell me they’re obsolete as I’ve just bought some leads for it :slight_smile:

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Never could get along with this type of pencil… always a traditional pencil for me to rough out the drawing before applying the ink. I still have several Rotring pens somewhere. Oh… and a small amount of ink in one of my fingers where I was stabbed with 0.3. CAD and printers removed such weapons from the office environment to be replaced by other fiendish means of inflicting pain. Standing with my hand on the pen plotter (remember those?) used to charge me with static and all I had to do was point my finger at some unsuspecting person as they passed by… with a resounding crack and resultant “ouch!”. Happy days. :rofl:

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Those were the times. I still have them around in various stages of decay.
Thanks for the memories!

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

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ooh pen plotters and rotring ink now you’re talking. CAD was just about coming in when I left university in 1994 but I do like a proper draughtsman’s licence (and font) on a drawing. We still have a few at work but most of them have been turned into 2D CAD.

3D CAD is very good, I like having to only draw something once. It makes you do it correctly as well.

I use a rotring pencil for work nowadays but its a 0.5mm and I won’t be giving up soon.

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Ah yes, the dreaded ‘draughtsman’s tattoo’. Usually a result of the manic hand jive trying to get a 0.18 pen to issue ink.

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This is my digital terminal project I have been working on for a while. It features a 7.5 inch touch screen with a Raspberry Pi 3 mounted to the back. Hidden under the screen and the pi is a QRP Labs 5W QDX and an 11000mAH battery pack. Currently it is setup to use JS8call and I have tested it in my backyard and at a couple of POTA activations, but it has yet to make its SOTA debut. The base is 3D printed to include radius corners to neatly fit the carrying case I use and some insets on the bottom for the mounting hardware, along with the “mandatory” callsign addition :wink:

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